Interview of Interest: Sam Gross
Yesterday Jane Mattimoe gave us an audio snippet of her recent interview with the great Sam Gross. Today we get the whole print interview right here.
Cartoon Companion Rates the Latest New Yorker Cartoons
The CC”s “Max” and “Simon” return with their up-close takes on each and every cartoon in the new issue (y’know, the issue with the brain on the cover). Read it all here.
Lots More E. Simms Campbell on Attempted Bloggery
Above is just a sample. To see more, go to Stephen Nadler’s wonderful blog here.
Finally, it was exactly one year ago today that we lost Jack Ziegler, one of the New Yorker‘s cartoon gods. I’m posting something I wrote, in tribute, shortly after he passed away. It has never been published til now.
Jack Ziegler: Calmly Zany
The New Yorker hadn’t seen anyone like Jack Ziegler – or more precisely, like Jack Ziegler’s cartoons — when he began submitting his work in the early 1970s. The craziest art the magazine had allowed in was perhaps Edward Koren’s furry, or fuzzy creatures, and of course, Saul Steinberg’s figurative flights of fancy. Jack brought in a completely different bag of tricks filled with a sensibility borne out of the Mad magazine school of art, but with a firm grasp of New Yorker art history in mind. He knew what he was doing, and in the great tradition of the magazine’s best artists, he was doing it for himself, to amuse himself. He was not trying to be like a New Yorker cartoonist; he was doing Jack Ziegler cartoons that he wanted to see published in the New Yorker.
His cartoon-like sensibility found hilarity in, most famously, hamburgers and toasters, and, of course, human beings. For Jack, the backyard hibachi was turned into a shrine-like thing of beauty in a Mt. Rushmore like setting complete with Japanese inspired cloud-work. The regular guy he added to many of his drawings – he called him his “onlooker” — was always slightly surprised to find himself looking at, say, an enormous hamburger on a beach. I imagine the onlooker was actually Jack, within his own world, not particularly shocked, but accepting of whatever freaky thing he’d come upon in a given cartoon panel.
Jack’s world was a calmly zany world, gleefully shared with all of us. His work was like the man himself: calmly zany. He had a wonderful little burst of laughter when it occurred to him that one of life’s little moments was hysterical. He recognized so many of them in these past forty-three years. Here’s to sinister Mr. Coffee machines, and giant toasters, and sensitive cowboys, and superheroes losing their shorts, mid-air!